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I picked up this book at RWA in the spring. Didn't think anything about it until a friend starting talking about it and compared it to Gone Girl.
This is a little different of a book - since it is technically adult - but it is about a teen's angst and partly from a teen POV so I decided to try it.
This book was so good, I wanted to talk about it. I loved it!
I will say there was one subplot that felt a little forced, but it didn't ruin the book for me. It is told in alternating view points of Kate (the mom's) present day investigation and Amelia's POV in past tense (the 15 year old) time leading up to the event of her death. It's also told using emails, text messages, and Facebook statuses so its very technology focused which is different and really worked.
Below I listed my top 10 things about this book! But first what it's about.
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
A stunning debut novel in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter's life, sifting through her emails, texts, and social media to piece together the shocking truth about the last days of her life.
Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.
Kate can't believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who's never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate's faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead.
Seemingly unable to cope with what she'd done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of "spontaneous" suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text:
"She didn't jump."
Sifting through Amelia's emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall's roof that day-and why she died.
Told in alternating voices, Reconstructing Amelia is a story of secrets and lies, of love and betrayal, of trusted friends and vicious bullies. It's about how well a parent ever really knows a child and how far one mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she could not save
Top 10 things:
1) I felt this mom's pain. It was heart wrenching. Find out out a teen is dead has to be horrible for any mom. Especially a single mom.2) The bond between mom and daughter is special. This mom did everything right yet there was still a break down. I think this portrayed a real relationship.3) It was very Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars. And I love both of those.4) This book is a about how small secrets can grow into bigger problems. They can sneak up on you and fester slowly.5) If i learned one thing it is : that quality is better than quantity. The quality is the emotional connection while the quantity is only physical.6) It brings to light the issue of bullies. That they can be girls and they can be cruel. 7) It touched me how a young beautiful smart girl who had everything going for her could still get pulled in the wrong direction8) It was a page turner because I needed to know what happened - like Kate. The desperation bled off the pages into my heart.9) It made me think about how important we think work is until something tragic happens and then it all doesn't seem worth it in the end.10) The writing was beautiful. It was different
Pick this one up if you want a break from traditional YA books!
For other Bookanista books:
Call for Street Team Members!
I would like to invite you all to join in my new street team. The first mission will launch on August 5th, the first monday of the month.
What the heck is a street team?
A team of fans/supporters who rally behind an artist and receive perks. They help to spread the word about an artist and their works. They use them in the music world.
As you know, I hate asking for support without giving back in some way - so these street teams are a way to set up a "give and take" system. A way for me to support those who have been so generous in supporting me.
What do you get for joining the Street Team?
There isn't a huge time commitment to being a member. As a member, you will join the online Facebook group and help spread the word about my books. In return, you will receive:
Ways Street Team members can participate:You can do whatever you feel comfortable doing. Here are some ways you can participate.
- A special welcome pack - which includes a "cool" badge for your blog along with bookmark, pen, signed bookplates, press kit on the book, and more.
- Help choose a street team name.
- A free ebook of your choice with a chance to win more.
- A Facebook members only group for an open discussions on the books, indie publishing, or marketing.
- Monthly missions - A monthly drawing for members only if you complete the special mission. The prizes will include book gift cards, books, ARCs, query critiques, and other fun stuff.
- Inside scoop on my books, the writing process, and publishing.
- Receive 1 ebook and or swag pack a year for a giveaways on your blog.
- A date with George Clooney. (ok that is a lie) :)
- Coffee talks - come visit me at my appearances and hang out for coffee afterwards.
- If you have a blog, you will get first dibs in my blog tours/giveaways/special events.
- Access to exclusive content in my newsletter– such as character dossiers, character diaries, and more.
- Free quarterly chats where I will answer any question you have (unless it is about a spoiler). :)
- And other fun surprises!
- But mostly, a new friend. :)
- Join the Facebook group and get to know me. :) (Not that I am that interesting!)
- Invite other readers (adults or teens) to join our team.
- Talk the books up on social media when you feel inspired - pinterest, FB, Twitter, wattpad, tumblr etc.
- Lead contests on your social media platforms. (I can provide giveaways.)
- Spread the word to family and friends about my books.
- Take promo materials to local writers groups, coffee shops, conventions, etc.
- Suggest one of my books for any book club in your area.
- Skype or Google me into your book club (for free) or schools to discuss book and writing.
- Recommend me to your middle or high schools as a speaker.
- Recommend my books to your local library.
- Talk the books up at your local indie store.
- Post flyers in places where teens hang out - like school news boards, coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.
- Use hashtags to get discussions going on books.
- Post honest reviews on any site like Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.
- Add my books to your Goodreads lists.
- Post about books on Launch days and cover reveals.
- Post about author news such as awards, appearances etc.
What this is NOT!
- A group of spammers.
- For people who do not like my book(s) or me. (boo! hiss!)
- People who just want freebies.
This is ONLY for those people who either read and loved my book, who want to play an active role in supporting me, or plan to read my books and want to be a part of something fun and unique.
Why am I doing this?
- To connect more to the readers who love my book and get the word out about my books in a more personal way.
- This one-on-one connection allows me to connect more on a personal level to thank you for your ongoing support!
If you are interested:If you are interested in joining this team, please fill out the form below (or go to this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/197cBhVPmvHjTHktM7HGvKeIjwtR3r0r-Uvzcg4VZLCs/viewform) and you will receive a formal invite to the group. We'd like to find at least one liaison in each state and set up a team leader (more on this later). The first mission will be announced on Aug 5th.
Another way to celebrate "indie-pendence day" this week is by giving back and paying it forward.
Jessica Bell is compiling and editing an anthology called, INDIESTRUCTIBLE: INSPIRING STORIES FROM THE PUBLISHING JUNGLE, which will launch September 16, 2013. It will be sold as an e-book for 99c for the first six months.
After that, it will be offered for free. Forever. During the time that it will accrue royalties, I will donate them all to BuildOn (www.buildon.org) who's mission is to break the cycle of povery, illiteracy and low education through service and education.
If you might be interested in spreading the word about this anthology (it’s for a great cause!), sign up here! :)
For a giveaway of a signed copy Adam Kunz's book, One Tiny Secret, and some special swag - go here. The giveaway will last through weekend.
INDIESTRUCTIBLE: INSPIRING STORIES FROM THE PUBLISHING JUNGLE
Need motivation and inspiration to self-publish? Have you done all the research you can, but still feel ambivalent about the idea? Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle brings you the experiences of eleven Indie authors—their passions, their insights, their successes—to help you make the leap into indie publishing.
This is not a how-to guide. This is the best of the indie tradition of experienced authors paying forward what they’ve learned, giving you guide posts to help you on your journey.
The personal essays in this book will leave you itching to get your work into the hands of readers and experience first-hand all the rewards of indie publishing.
All profits from Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle purchases will be donated to Build On.
Today, my indie shout out goes to the amazeballs, Adam Kunz, author of One Tiny Secret.**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for 17+ due to language, violence, and sexual content.
For those who don't know Adam, he's not only a sweetie pie but he's been part of an awesome writing team, CA Kunz (with his mom, how cute is that!). This is his first break out on his own and is getting amazing reviews!
Today, he's giving away signed swag and a signed copy of One Tiny Secret.
**Stay tuned because I am also giving away a HUGE swag pack later this week.
Just one tiny secret has the potential to ruin everything.
Being the daughter of the sheriff in a small town like Holden Ridge means that eighteen-year-old Danielle "Dani" Marks' life is under constant surveillance. She's made a habit of staying under the radar by being a floater among social circles at school, which has kept her out of trouble--until now.
After a missing persons case stirs up the entire town, Dani finds herself caught right in the middle of the scandal. When she's labeled a possible suspect, things quickly go from bad to worse. The sudden return of her old flame, Parker Reed, manages to make her whole situation even more complicated.
When an elusive unknown person begins to blackmail Dani by threatening to reveal her deepest secrets, Dani refuses to play along. That is, until the person's actions take a violent turn. Holden Ridge loses its sense of quaint town security, and Dani is caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Who can she trust when anyone around her could be a suspect?
One thing's for certain though: Never underestimate the power of one tiny secret.
Adam is giving away a signed copy today!
Enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Today is the special cover reveal of Courtney Stevens, Faking Normal:
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete.
With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other’s songs – words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.
But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence.
As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up. Love this cover!
1) I hear the cover in real life ia A-Maz-ING with tons of special and sparkly stuff. :)2) I love this girl. Red head with freckles. Not the normal gal you see on covers. 3) Creates some mystery - I want to know 'what's up with the trees?'Faking Normal will be released from HarperTeen on February 25, 2014. (earlier than the date listed on Amazon, woot woot!)
You can add Faking Normal to your Goodreads shelf and/or pre-order Faking Normal on Amazon.
Cover Reveal Contest:
A few deets on the prize package! The winner receives:
- A signed ARC of Faking Normal - A hand-painted cover rock by Courtney - Signed postcard - Silicone “Channel Your Brave” bracelet
Since hand-painted cover rock isn’t usual book swag, you might want a little background. In Courtney's family, they paint rocks for significant events. (how cute is that?)
And, the bottom of the rock contains a sneak peek spolier!
Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below. (U.S. only. Giveaway ends July 8, 2013.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author:
Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.
You can find Courtney here: Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter Tumblr Facebook
Other Bookanista Posts include
praises WORST CASE OF PASKETTI-ITIS by Kris Asselin
The countdown has been going on for months, and now it’s almost time!
One of the most fun conferences of the year is about to happen, and some of your favorite authors attending UtopYA want to celebrate.
We’ve gotten together, and have some amazing prizes so everybody can join in the fun!
2 ways to win prizes: 1 for those attending and 1 for those not attending.
1) Ultimate Swag Pack Giveaway (for those attending Utopya)
Some of your favorite authors have gotten together to give you their very best swag. I’m not talking about a signed bookmark (although those are included)—this prize pack includes the following:
· Leather bracelet from Tiffany King
· “Grant’s Cupcake” tee shirt from Sarah M Ross
· Lavender/Spearmint bath salts from Heather Self
· “Nick Rocks my World” mug and bath soaps from Ella James
· Skull Necklace and other prizes from Amy Jones
· Keychain from Morgan Wylie
· Signed mini-poster and other prizes from Quinn Loftis
· Custom USB loaded with books and Necklace from Laura Elliott
· Modified Swag Pack from CA Kunz
· Estilorian Swag Pack from Raine Thomas
· Bracelet from SR Johannes
· Archers of Avalon tote bag and coffee mug from Chelsea Fine
And that’s just part of the prizes you can win! So now that you’re salivating and reaching out your “gimme, gimme” hands, you’re probably wondering how to enter. We’re giving you a few options:
1. Make a video hyping UtopYA and the authors of UtopYA. Then, post this video on FB or Twitter and email it to email@example.com (so we don’t accidentally miss it in the Twitterverse. This video can be short and sweet – basically telling people that UtopYA is coming and about the amazing authors that are going.
2. Make a FB banner or meme hyping UtopYA and the authors of UtopYA. This is the same concept of the video, but for the more camera shy folks out there. Then, change it to your banner and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your entry counted.
*We’re not giving a whole lot of instruction on how to do this on purpose. We want you to be creative! Get those juices flowing! Want to make a Utop rendition of “Call Me Maybe”? Or post a video of you stalking your favorite authors before you stalk them in real life at Utop? A meme of Grumpy Cat at Utop with the authors? The possibilities are endless! But make it creative! All the participating authors will vote on the one that WOW’s us the most.
And remember: This part of the contest is open to peeps attending UtopYA only! Prizes to be picked up at UtopYA!!
2. Signed Books (for those not attending)
Not able to make it to UtopYA this year? Don’t worry!
We have a great giveaway for you too! Enter the Rafflecopter below to win some amazing autographed paperbacks! (Open to US residents only! Sorry!!)
Can’t wait to see you all at UtopYA!!
Here are some Bookanista Recs for this week :)
is nuts for AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK by Joe Schreiber
joins the BY BLOOD by Tracy Banghart book blitz – with giveaway
So excited to help Dorothy release her new book! I've known her along time online and have followed her journey.
My Sister's Reaper
releases in print today from Month9Books
Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.
When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human. To top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper or let Mara die … this time for good.
Here's an excerpt to get you started....
A jumble of sounds suddenly tumbled from my lips—sounds from a language I didn’t recognize. The voice was mine, but the movements of my tongue and teeth were not. My fingers tingled, and the flames from the candles grew warmer. My blood felt electric. Still chanting, I slowly opened my eyes. My three companions stared at me. I stopped, my mouth falling silent.
For a moment, nothing happened. We simply looked at each other, waiting. A chill crept up my neck. In that instant, wind whipped through our circle, making the candles flicker wildly. There was a sound, like plastic scraping wood, and my eyes darted to the Ouija board Naomi had set aside. My body jerked, as if I’d been holding a huge mass of energy inside of me and it had suddenly escaped.
The buzzing and electric feeling were gone. I felt like I was going to throw up. What had I just done?
“It moved,” Naomi said.
“What did?” Danny asked.
“The pointer on the board.”
“No way,” Gavin said. “Where is it pointing?”
We all scrabbled over to look at the board, but the second we reached it, all the candles went out.
To help celebrate, she is doing a giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, takeout, chocolate,
and spending time with her family and friends. Half-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two teens. Dorothy Dreyer is an author of young adult books. Her debut, MY SISTER'S REAPER, comes out June 18, 2013, from Month9Books. The sequel releases May, 2014.
Find her online!
With all the stuff going on in the media around Internet snooping with the government, this is a timely review.
Little Brother released in 2008, yet Homeland just released. Not sure why it took 7 years but at least there was a continuation.
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.
Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.
Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should read this series:
1) Gives you a pretty scary picture of the how the US could be run if terrorist threats continue and we move under martial law. Scary!
2) Learn about what people can really do on computers. The author and protagonist is knowledgeable without being too technical. Yet, I learned a lot about hacking and cyberspace in general.
3) It will make you think about what you put online. Very insightful and eye opening.
4) The seriousness of hacking - it's all fun and games until the govt gets wind of it :)
5) Marcus's voice is hilarious. In the midst of being chased I found myself laughing at how he sees the world. Love when a book can make me laugh and want to run all at once.
6) If you love Fahrenheit 451 or George Orwell books, Marcus is the Winston of modern society.
7) I love the vulnerability of the tough tech guy. You feel Marcus' pain and he isn't afraid to cry, which for this book is realistic.
8) Being so timely, this is a very realistic thriller. You feel like it could happen tomorrow.
9) The cover. I totally get the feel of a group of hackers with this cover. I love it for this subject.
10) Surprisingly this book is more about freedom than entrapment.
Bonus - surprisingly a little romance/sex :)
Check out the other Bookanista recs for the day:
Nikki Katz gets the shivers for 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil Jessica Love raves about ROAD TO TATER HILL by Edith M. Hemingway
Come join us over on indierecon.org for our marketing mania!
The week of June 10th on this blog we will be discussing marketing.
Because marketing is one of our greatest challenges as indie authors, IndieReCon brings you a mini-marketing know-how blitz! Featuring articles and workshops from CJ Lyons, Georgia McBride, KP Simmons and Penny Sansevieri this week promises to be all kinds of awesome!
Monday, June 10th As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. In addition to being an award-winning New York Times Bestseller, CJ is an internationally known presenter and keynote speaker.
Join her to learn the tools you need to Build Your Brand and come away with fresh ideas for your website and tagline.
, independent author publicist and educator will talk to us about online marketing and how to be your own publicist.
KP Simmon from InkSlinger PR
--a group whose purpose is to help authors and publishers get the word out--will talk to us about reaching that ever-elusive teen market.
Thursday, June 13th
And finally, Penny Sansevieri from Author Marketing Experts
will wrap up the week with wisdom gleaned from over ten years as the leader in book marketing online and off.
Friday, June 14th - Marketing Advice from Bestselling Indie Authors & a Special Giveaway Hear some out-of-box marketing ideas from authors who have tried creative marketing methods.See you there!
Hi guys! :)
I have a new Breathless novelette, CHOKE, coming out Monday, June 24th that I am very excited about.
The cover was once again done by the infamous Vania over at VLCphoto. For those who don't know, Vania has done ALL of my amazing covers (and I can say that because she did them :)...and I adore her and her work!
CHOKE is the 2nd in a series of sci-fi novelettes. You can learn more about the first novelette in the series, Suffocate, if you missed it!It is a 20,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres. The book will be available on ebook only starting Monday, June 24th for only 99 cents!
The 3rd novelette in the series, EXHALE, is scheduled for Nov 2013.
When Eria escapes her home in the Biome, she uncovers more about her
features and specifications as a HumaNot. Following her father's
instructions, Eria embarks on a journey into a dangerous and unpredictable world.
Along the way, she encounters a young rebel, Dirk, who explains he's from the Anarchy, an underground human resistance rising up against the BOTs--advanced man-made robots gone wild. Together, Dirk and Eria battle underground serpents, desert dingos, sand storms, and advanced Bots that are always hot on their trail. As they become closer, Dirk reveals his hatred of machines, forcing Eria to hide
the secret of what and who she really is.
When the truth of her identity comes out, Eria is forced to become the very thing she hates the most.
So here it is.....
Check out what the Bookanistas are recommending this week:
Carrie Harris awakens you to
INSOMNIA by Jenn Johansson…with giveaway
Lenore Appelhans swoons for
STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood…with an annotated snippet
The Bookanistas kicked off in July 2010 and included a group of reader-writer-bloggers. Our mission was to share our love of books as authors and as readers. ONly posting positive reviews from the YA and MG genres we loved so much.Since then, some amazing things happened. Two Bookanistas became NYT best-sellers: Beth Revis (Across the Universe) and Veronica Roth (Divergent). Many others published novels, had babies, moved into new homes, changed jobs, got married... Life. So we faded into the background.
We've decided to kick off a new Bookanistas and relaunch our site with a BIG BOOKANISTA GIVEAWAY of signed copies of Bookanista publications, favorite books, and some fun swag.
Come and join the Bookanistas as we continue praising amazing reads! Join the fun, win some stuff, and help us ensure that READING IS ALWAYS IN STYLE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner of the "Bookanistas Summer Fun" giveaway will receive signed copies of these Bookanista-authored books…
- IF I LIE and TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson, plus ARCs of JUST ONE DAY and SPEECHLESS
- LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger
- BY BLOOD by Tracy Banghart
- POSSESSION, SURRENDER and ABANDON by Elana Johnson
- TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini (plus a swag surprise)
- BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris
- AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe
- THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca (plus sweet swag)
- MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
- LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans + swag
- UNCONTROLLABLE and UNTRACEABLE by SR Johannes
And a second winner will get a box filled with Bookanista-beloved reads including:
- DITCHED by Robin Mellom
- JELLICO ROAD by Melina Marchetta
- TAKEN by Erin Bowman
- CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare
- MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama
- SPARROW ROAD by Sheila O’Connor
- WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON (signed by John Green!) by John Green and David Levithan
To celebrate, I thought I'd list of a few beachy reads for you this summer. Since I love thrillers, it's what I do, here is my fav list.
The fourth book in the Body Finder series
Sometimes the Dead Can't Be Silenced.
Violet thought she had made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers . . . until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team she works for have no intention of letting her go.
Violet will do whatever it takes to keep her loved ones safe—even if it means lying to her boyfriend, Jay. But when an echo calls to her, she stumbles upon a murder scene unlike anything she's ever witnessed. The murders are frenzied and twisted, and the killer left a disturbing calling card for all to see—a brimstone cross sketched in blood on the wall. And Violet finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a vicious madman with an army of devoted followers.
Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
From Possess and Ten author Gretchen McNeil comes a deliciously eerie science-fiction horror story in the tradition of Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy and the movie Sliding Doors.
Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. And just when she thinks it can't get worse, she wakes to an image of herself in the bedroom mirror. Except it's not her at all—the girl in the mirror is blonder and prettier. And her name is Jo.
The two girls are doppelgängers whose universes overlap every twelve hours at 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to pass through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo's world is far from perfect, and the stuff of nightmares lurks around every corner. And when Josie finds herself trapped there, her life becomes more dangerous—and more deadly—than she ever imagined.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up
I have a new agent!This is my dream agency and has been on my radar for years!! Many of my critique partners are with ABLA so I've heard such wonderful things.
Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary Agency!
I am so happy to be at another crossroads in my publishing career.
As many of you know, I have had many ups and downs in publishing over the last several years.
Got a great agent. Didn't sell my first book - boo! hiss! (though it got sooo close!)
Wrote another book. Didn't sell that either. boo! hiss! (again close, but no cigar. As my dad says, 2nd place is just the first loser :)
In the spring of 2011, my agent and I parted ways. I was back to square one.
Even though I knew the separation was the right decision, it sucked big time. I liked my agent. She worked hard and did everything right. I'd worked so hard too. At the time, I thought my career was over and didn't write for 6 months.
In the fall of 2011, I finally decided to self publish my books - it was not a strategic decision, it was simply a way for me to move on in my writing. Get my mojo back. I lost some friends over this decision, yet gained many new ones who supported me along the way (esp the Indelibles!). I had nothing to lose.
I had no idea my books would sell well. If at all. I just tried to put out the best book I could and invested in the product.
2012 became a very interesting year. It was hard, yet I had a blast. Full of tears, frustration, cheers, and some big wins.
Untraceable did great in sales, but on the other side, my beloved middle grade, On the Bright Side, sadly didn't do as well. Even with a great Publisher's Weekly Review! "Johannes kicks off the Starling series with this fresh novel about an angel's peripatetic path to earning her wings...A humorous addition to the angel story genre. "- Publisher's Weekly
Recently, I took OTBS off the market to shelf it for later- a hard personal decision but a smart business decision. And in the end as much as we don't want it to be - publishing is a business. (IE: Middle grade ebooks just don't sell well. For now.)
Since self publishing, in 18 months, I have sold approx. over 30,000 copies of my series. I've won several national awards and gained a great Kirkus Review. I've learned a lot about the business and made some wonderful indie friends. I've gained confidence and learned to swallow my pride along the way.
But this has been a very hard road. Self publishing is tough! It's a lot of work, some guessing, and about overcoming many hurdles. I have loved the challenge and plan to continue in some fashion b/c I enjoy it. But sometimes I just want to write again. Leave the business aside for a little.
Not to mention, I missed having an agent. Since then, I have still wanted that one person on my side. The one who believed in me and my writing. My career as a writer not just my books. Self publishing can be lonely and invalidating.
Yet, as I said awhile ago in a post, I want to experience both sides of publishing. This was before Hugh Howey's crazy deal and during Amanda Hocking's traditional success. No matter what some people believe, I personally think traditional publishing offers authors some things that are hard to find in self publishing. And vice versa. So I feel both sides have pros and cons. Both sides are hard. Both sides are sometimes a total crap shoot. Luck and timing is 20% of the battle.
Last year, while the Untraceable series was selling, I started writing a brand new secret series that only a few critique partners knew about. The project I've been really excited about.
Last Nov, I attended the Atlanta Writers Club conference in Atlanta as well as another conference to work the manuscript. If agents are ever in Atlanta or at a conference I'm attending, if I can, I always try to pitch or have something critiqued. The knowledge I gain in those critiques and pitches is invaluable.
Lara Perkins happened to be in Atlanta along with other great agents. I almost didn't go but some spaces opened up at the last minute. I signed up for a pitch and critique with two different agents.
To be honest, I wasn't even thinking about getting an agent at the time or a few reasons.
1) I'd given up on that dream.
2) I was planning to self publishing my new book.
3) Lara wasn't even taking on her own clients at the time. She was working as Laura Rennert's asst as well as the digital manager for ABLA. The other agent, Anita Mum, was the foreign rights agent at Kristin Nelson's agencies. So this conference was just about gaining some feedback.
4) It was ABLA and Kristin nelson agency - those are too good to be true.
But I did know those 2 agencies were on the forefront of publishing and digital publishing so I figured of all the agents, they would understand where I was coming from. And many agents don't take too positively to self publishing.
At the conference, I ended up winning Best Pitch from Lara and Best Manuscript from Anita in the AWC awards (which I almost didn't even attend!!) They both offered to see the book when it was done. I really hit it off with both of them so I figured "why not" and continued writing.
In late Jan, as I was working to finish the book, an agent I met at another conference requested a partial of my new series. Out of courtesy, I asked Lara, Anita and a couple others I had met if they wanted to read the partial too. They all did.
What I didn't know is that Lara had been recently promoted to an agent and was actively building her client list.
Within days, I had a couple offers for exclusive revisions (on a partial!). But as you may remember, I went through 3 noncontractual revisions with my tween book during the Acquisitions process (only to not sell the book) so at first, I was not too keen on this. But i decide to listen to them anyway.
I went ahead and set up a meeting with the agents and listened to their visions/ideas. I have found you just never know what will work for you in this industry unless you meet people and listen. Still unsure of traditional pubbing.
After talking with Lara, I realized not only did we click but we had the same vision of the book. Our meeting went well over the scheduled time and by the time I got off, I wanted her to rep me so bad. My husband kept telling me not to get my hopes up - after all they had been dashed so many times and I was doing fine on my own.
Lara and I set up a couple phone meetings in Feb and brainstormed the synopsis and book. She gave me her editorial notes and talked me through what worked and what didn't. We really hit it off.
A few months later (after several email exchanges and a couple calls), I sent Lara the full manuscript and she asked for a 2 week exclusive read. I was hoping she would take me on but told myself she prob. wouldn't (b/c I have not had the best luck with agents.).
I decided that it was either Lara or self publishing. This was my crossroads and this time, there was no downside for me. It was a matter of which path I was moving ahead on. I wasn't interested in querying the world and taking whoever would take me. I didn't want anyone else after working with her on the project. Of course, I didn't tell HER that :)
There were so many other small serendipitous things that connected us like : she had been to place where my book was set, she knew the history behind my character's name (which no one does), and she's a thriller geek like me (knows them all!), and she is really interested in the news on computers/hacking (my book is a hacker series).
Before the 2 weeks was up, an email popped in my inbox. She said she loved the manuscript, was 1/2 way in, and wanted to talk. I - of course - was still skeptical, afraid she was going to reject me over the phone. Which has happened to me in the past - believe it or not!
Last Monday, we spoke on the phone for 1.5 hours and she offered representation. I immediately said yes. What I love is that Lara was very supportive of my self publishing record and she knows all about digital publishing.
So I am now with my dream agency. Almost 2 years to the exact date I parted with my first agent.
Moral of the story?
Keep your chin up and know things can always change at the drop of a hat.
Keep writing and keep trying.
And, even when things seem over, maybe it's just a new beginning.
Good luck! :)
I forgot to post these last Thursday!
Carrie Harris adores
BEYOND DINOCALYPSE by Chuck Wendig -- with giveaway!
wonders at THE GRAVE WINNER by Lindsey Loucks
fawns over FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta
I am so excited about this series. Check it out!
From the author of the bestselling Mindjack series comes a new future-noir serial, The Debt Collector. The first episode, Delirium, launches today (3/20).
What’s your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely. Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again.
But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.
Contains mature content and themes. For YA-appropriate thrills, see Susan’s Mindjack series. Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. You can find out more about the series at the Debt Collector website and facebook page. The Debt Collector newsletter is a special list just for episode releases.
“The street-smart science of LOOPER meets the cold, just-the-facts voice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY in this edgy, future-noir thriller that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and begging for more.” —Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, The Truth About Letting Go, and Rouge
“Do you owe more than your life is worth? No worries. A more deserving person than you can benefit from that excess life—and someone else will get paid with it. Enter the Debt Collector.” —Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)
The first three episodes of Debt Collector will be released a week apart, starting Wednesday 3/20. The remaining episodes will release every two weeks. Delirium can be found on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo. Or add it to your TBR on Goodreads.
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Debt Collector is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook
. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time.
Today is Bookanista Thursday but I want to share something first.
My first book Untraceable
touches on the inhumane bear pits in North Carolina where bears are held in cement bunkers and treated horribly.
This month is a huge month because they are voting on whether to close them or not.
If you read the book or are interested in speaking out. You can write an email to the city council for the meeting on March 19th.
Here are the email addy's and sample letter
Here is the agenda for the meetin
g in March.
Here is my petition
to stop it and here is another larger petition going on as well
And lastly, here's a great story about a 6 year old
who won the PETA kids award for helping these bear pits.
Now for the Bookanista Links this week:
Things almost every mother wants for Mother's day but never asks :)
1) Catching Zs. I miss the days of lying in bed late with the sun streaming through my bedroom. Getting up and having lunch. IN order to do this - Kids need to be removed from house.
2) Breakfast in bed. - I'd love to not have to make someone's breakfast. Maybe lie in bed reading, awaiting coffee, eggs with cheese, strawberries and scones. Then more coffee with extra cream. I'd love to eat it in one sitting too. Like not having to stop and get up to get something for someone. To sit and eat in peace.
3) Spa Day. Massage, mani/pedi. Need I say more. If chocolate or cupcakes were involved - it would be awesome!
4) Shopping without kids. Hey I'm not picky. This could even be grocery shopping, running errands, browsing bookstores or hitting up Target without kids in tow asking for every item on every shelf.
5) Homemade Gifts. Not socks or underwear. Not even an organizer b/c that says I'm not organized. Maybe just homemade items. Those are the best. The kind that dad helps them do on a rainy day - in advance of course - not day of.
6) Night out. This can be with girls or a date night. But I'd love a night out on town. Babysitter planned, reservations made. For me to just show up and drink margaritas or martinis.
7) A Ban on Bickering. For the kids to start bickering about who's bossing who or how hit who. What belongs to who, what TV show to watch. Just happy kids with smiles and bells on.
8) Child Labor. A day of the kids and hubby completing the following tasks -
cleaning toilet seats
boxing up winter clothes and pack away in closet
going through old toys and cleaning out rooms/play room
cleaning out under seats in car
any will do!
9) Jewelry. Those earrings I've been eying but would never buy myself :) (by hubby or child)
10) Compliments galore - nothing short of:
"You're the best mom"
"Thanks for cleaning my underwear."
"I wouldn't trade you in for chocolate or toys."
"What would I do without you."
The top 5 things no mother wants to hear on Mother's Day
1) "I have tee time at noon."
2) "You look great for having 2 kids."
3) "We're out of coffee."
4) "I thought you'd want a new vacuum cleaner. And it was on sale."
5) "Lets just grab MacDonalds."
That's not too much to ask for - right? :)
LINKS FOR THURSDAY 9 MAY
raves about THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING by Ashley Elton
Today's Bookanista Love goes to.....
Katy Upperman ponders LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS by Laura Buzo Stasia Ward Kehoe wraps up National Poetry Month with THE POETRY TEACHER’S BOOK OF LISTS by Sylvia Vardell Jessica Love hails THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith
The Latest by Lee Strauss! Eternal Life is To DieFor seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing. Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like he
Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.
Want to read PERCEPTION? It's FREE
on Kobo itunes B&N Smashwords and
!VOLITION is the exciting continuation of Noah and Zoe's story from Perception.Releasing April 16! Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.
They're in love.
Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.
Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.
And their fight for survival has only begun.
Mark to read on goodreads.
To celebrate Lee Strauss is giving away a $200.00 Amazon, Nook or itunes gift card!a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author:
Lee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/elle_strauss To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at www.ellestraussbooks.com
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I love this series. I might be a 'little" biased but Ive always loved the idea of classes being divided by language. I think we hit classism today because of that in some sense regarding ethnicity and diversity.
I loved The Pledge and The Offering just came out the beginning of the year so I wanted to touch on The Essence first.
If you have not read this series, start back at the Pledge.
Top 10 reason to read:
- K.D (yes I know her by that :) knows exactly what magnificent word to choose every time.
- The twists and turns in this book is more complex than in The Pledge.
- I love the character arc proving how much Charlie has changed from Book 1 to Book 2. Love how she struggles with the girlie things...oh and horses :)
- Brooke's situation had me stressed out toward the end! Love that.
- The world building and mythology weaved in is amazing.
- One word - Max :)
- The development of some secondary characters in Book 1 was so flawless.
- The book has everything cool in it: There are mysteries, assassins, spies, kidnapping, betrayal, dancing, soul mates, new powers, and murder.
- Even the villain, Sabara was sympathetic. That's hard to do.
- All the queens at the summit are crazy and fun to read about.
At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.
Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.
As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.
Other Bookanista reviews:
celebrates THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay